Pitchin with Pritch: Coach K will go down as one of the best
A couple of weeks ago I had started to write about college basketball coaches that have been extremely successful really regardless of where they coached.
Some coaches have been at one school for very long stays in a profession that has a tendency to only think about “what have you done lately.”
My first two coaches named were Bill Self and Dana Altman. There are others that in my opinion are very good coaches and have won consistently at any school.
Two coaches that would fit into that category are Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Boeheim—Coach K at Duke and Coach Boeheim at Syracuse.
Coach K has been at Duke since 1980. Coach Boeheim has been at Syracuse as the head coach since 1976.
Coach Boeheim’s teams have won 964 games in 44 years as head coach. Coach Boeheim has one national championship back in 2003 and made four Final Fours.
Coach K has 1,084 wins, five national championships, 35 NCAA tournament appearances in 40 seasons and 12 Final Fours, which ties him with John Wooden for the most in Men’s D-1 history.
If this past season had not been cut short by the COVID-19 virus, Coach K would have had 36 NCAA appearances.
He is the winningest coach in college basketball history and has coached 68 NBA draft picks in 40 seasons.
I am sure that when he finally retires from the game, he will be in the group, and it will be a small group starting and maybe ending with John Wooden, as the greatest men’s coach in college history.
Again, this is just an opinion open for debate, but there are other coaches that I think have really stepped up the level of play at their present coaching positions.
Gregg Marshall at Wichita State is the first of those.
Wichita State has had some other pretty good coaches but I think the two that stand out in my mind are the late Ralph Miller and Coach Marshall.
When I was growing up, Kansas had three good D-1 schools in KU, K-State and Wichita.
David Stallworth was an outstanding player at Wichita State and it was always a treat as a high school kid and college kid to be able to go watch any of the three teams mentioned because they all had good players.
Stallworth was a favorite of mine and of course getting to KU and getting to see Wilt Chamberlain play was a great memory also.
Another coach who is really good is Tony Bennett at Virginia. He has taken a team that has always been competitive and maybe pushed them up maybe to be one of the best 10 programs in college basketball today.
Virginia got a National Championship in 2019 and under Coach Bennett have four ACC titles. The ACC is a pretty good group of teams so to be the best in the league is getting something done.
Another coach in the elite status is Bob Huggins. His teams won 429 games at Cincinnati and he has another 379 at West Virginia.
Huggins is a WVU graduate and has won 65% of his games during his career and is always a very difficult team to defeat because of their aggressiveness on defense.
There are lots of other coaches that do outstanding jobs from Junior College through all the other levels of College right up to D-1 teams.
I really missed not having the NCAA tournament this year due to the coronavirus. I hope things get back to at least close to normal as soon as possible so that sports fans can enjoy their favorite sports from the high school level to the professional level.